Covering protests, photographing food lines or taking video inside a hospital can be risky for journalists working in Venezuela today. Various reporters and photojournalists working in the country have been subjected to temporary and prolonged detentions in the process of carrying out their jobs in recent months.
“Of all the reasons that provoke violence against journalists, the most important one is impunity, it is the lack of investigation into the acts of violence and assassinations of journalists,” said Frank La Rue, UNESCO assistant director-general for communication and information, in a video commemorating the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists, which takes place every Nov. 2.
Two Colombian reporters who were kidnapped by the National Liberation Army (ELN) in May have received threatening text messages supposedly signed by the ELN, according to a recent report from the Foundation for Press Freedom (FLIP).
The news team of the Sunday newscast Panorama was criminally charged by the Peruvian Defense Minister Jakke Valakivi after publishing a official secret documents that allegedly show evidence of embezzlement of resources of the Army Intelligence Service. The journalists could face a sentence of up to 15 years in prison for the crime of treason.
In the face of threats from government officials and shortly after Juan Ramón Quintana, the Minister of the Presidency of Bolivia, labeled her as part of a “cartel of lies,” journalist Amalia Pando requested protection for her journalistic work before the Inter American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) through a precautionary measure, according to news agency EFE.
More than half of the deaths registered this year occurred in only two countries: Mexico (9) and Guatemala (5). Homicides and deaths were also reported in Honduras (3), El Salvador (3), Brazil (2) and Venezuela (2). Perpetrators were identified in only five cases.
After two Bolivian government officials made statements against Carlos Valverde, the journalist decided to leave the country for what he considered threats against him, according to what he told newspaper El Deber.
A report released in May by the Center for Archives and Access to Public Information (CAinfo for its name in Spanish) registered a decrease in threats on freedom of expression in Uruguay. The text also showed that most of the cases occurred in the capital of Montevideo and are related to obstruction of journalistic work.
As cyber attacks become more common for journalists and news organizations, more cyber security courses and guidelines for protection will follow. Yet, according to a researcher studying the issue, most journalists are not taking the necessary measures to protect themselves.
Once more, Colombian authorities are investigating threats against journalists and social leaders distributed via pamphlets and signed with the name of a criminal group.